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Saturnino Lieven Salas
LAKEVILLE — Saturnino Lieven Salas, the only grandson of the late Flemish industrialist Lieven Gevaert, died on June 2, 2012, at home at the age of 81, surrounded by his family.
He was predeceased by his father, Saturnino Salas, of Argentina; his mother, Maria Cornelia Gevaert of Belgium; and his beloved wife of 40 years, Judith (Eckart) Salas.
He is survived by his four children, Charles Gevaert Salas, Peter Eckart Salas, Elizabeth Corwin Dudley and William Albert Salas; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his sister, Laura (Salas) Flores, and his brothers, Hector Salas and Carlos Maria Salas.
Mr. Salas was born on Aug. 9, 1930, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
During the first 10 years of his life, he lived with his family in several European and South American countries, each time attending school in a different language. At the age of 10, he entered Indian Mountain School in Lakeville and quickly excelled, being awarded the school’s highest prize in three consecutive years. He also achieved extraordinary academic success at The Hotchkiss School, from which he graduated in 1948.
He attended Princeton University the following year but withdrew to enter the United States Air Force, where he served for four years.
After leaving the Air Force, he turned to the study of mathematics, earning a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University in 1959.
After teaching at Yale, Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut, he retired from academia to devote himself to the writing of mathematics textbooks. His most notable publication (with Einar Hille and, later, other co-authors) is “Calculus — One and Several Variables.” His mathematical writing is renowned for its clarity, integrity and elegance, and his calculus book, now in its 10th edition, has been translated into several languages and used by well over a million students.
In 1960, Saturnino Salas moved with his family to a home in Haddam, Conn., which has served as a family center ever since.
His was a full life and a rewarding career, including years in which he served on the board of directors of Gevaert Photo-Producten NV in Belgium.
Articulate in the extreme, he possessed a powerful intelligence, élan vital and a strong desire to live life on his own terms. Impatient with the ordinary, he often cited the poetic phrase from Wordsworth, “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers,” as a goad to those he cared about, encouraging them to pursue with passion that which mattered to them most.
He was a man who loved deeply and was, in turn, deeply loved.